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Post date: September 15 2008

Attorney General Cuomo Opens Office Of The Attorney General's New Western New York Headquarters In Buffalo

Cuomo, Joined by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, Buffalo Sabre Andrew Peters, and 2008 Olympic Medalist Jennifer Stuczynski, Cutting Ribbon Today on Regional Office Serving Western New York
Deputy Attorney General for Statewide Regional Affairs J. David Sampson Based out of WNY HQ
AG Cuomo Announces Significant Action on Four Western New York Cases
AG Cuomo and Senior Staff Meet with WNY Law Enforcement, Key Environmental Leaders

BUFFALO, N.Y. (September 15, 2008) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a renewed commitment to Western New York with the ribbon cutting for the Office of the Attorney General’s new Regional Headquarters at the Main Place Tower in downtown Buffalo.

Cuomo is joined today by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, Buffalo Sabre Andrew Peters, and 2008 Olympic pole vaulting silver medalist Jennifer Stuczynski in presenting the new offices. It will also serve as the base of operations for Deputy Attorney General J. David Sampson who oversees the Attorney General’s 13 regional offices located across the state.

The Western New York Regional Office is the largest of the Attorney General’s regional offices, and serves the counties of Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Genesee, Wyoming, Alleghany, Cattaraugus, and Orleans. Home to approximately 100 employees, last year it opened more than 5,000 cases covering a myriad of legal matters from consumer protection to the defense of the state. The office serves as a ‘front door’ to the Office of the Attorney General for the people of Western New York.

“I am pleased to announce that this state-of-the-art facility in the heart of downtown Buffalo is open for business, and I want the people of Western New York to know the door is always open and we are here to serve you,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “From house flipping scams contributing to urban blight and invasive species in the Great Lakes, every region of the state has its own unique issues. The dedicated staff from the Western New York Headquarters is a valuable resource for this community, and I encourage anyone that needs assistance to take advantage of the top legal talent this office has to offer.”

Attorney General Cuomo also announced significant action on four Western New York cases including:
The arrest of Buffalo certified nurse aide Shavon Morris, 21, for allegedly stomping on an 84-year-old woman suffering from dementia at the Kaleida Health Deaconess Skilled Nursing Facility.
Settlements with the four largest beer distributors in Chautauqua County that includes repaying $108,000 to local Chautauqua merchants for unpaid fees withheld from them for more than ten years.
The indictment of an alleged house flipper from Niagara Falls on grand larceny charges for selling two properties over the Internet to a buyer from England without providing the titles.
The conviction of a Genesee County company and business owner for failing to file necessary tax returns and reports for three consecutive years. Batavia business owner Cregg S. Paul, 54, faces up to four years in prison and a $50,000 fine, and his business faces up to $250,000 in fines.

The Attorney General’s Office has remained focused on the issues affecting the people of Western New York. The office has fought for and achieved major reforms in the student loan industry to protect college students and their families from deceptive lending practices. It has reached agreements with the largest Internet Service Providers across Western New York and the nation to block child pornography on the Internet. The Attorney General recommended legislation that was passed by the Legislature establishing the first public registry of home health and personal care aides that will allow families to easily check the background of those caring for their loved ones.

The office has also handled a variety of initiatives and cases impacting Western New York residents including:
Assisting local officials and the community with the investigation into a discriminating sign at the Niagara Falls DPW
Prosecuting home health services company Homeward Bound for preying on Buffalo-area seniors with expensive home health services agreements and not delivering on the promises
Stopping natural gas provider U.S. Energy from deceiving consumers by misrepresenting service contracts
Ending house flipping scams that contribute to urban blight and prosecuting those who take advantage of hard economic times as a means to fleece hard-working families and individuals

· Investigating CVS and Rite Aid Pharmacies for selling expired productsProtecting the Great Lakes from invasive species

· Ending waste, fraud, and abuse in the public benefits and pension systems

Attorney General Cuomo today also announced the appointment of J. David Sampson to the position of Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs. Sampson will be based out of the Western New York Headquarters and will oversee operations at all of the regional offices across the state. The regional offices are a primary point of contact for New Yorkers seeking assistance and are staffed with legal professionals who are expert in local issues because they live and work in the communities they serve. Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Sampson was a civil trial lawyer in private practice for 25 years. He was a partner at Underberg & Kessler LLP from 1999 to 2008 and served as the firm’s supervising partner of their Buffalo office. Prior to that Sampson was a partner at Jasen, Jasen & Sampson, P.C., also of Buffalo.

“My office is dedicated to bringing in only the best and brightest to serve the public’s interests,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Dave’s extensive knowledge of the law, trial experience, and understanding of the individual issues facing Western New York and other regions of the state makes him the best choice for Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs. It is critical that Dave be based in Buffalo, the largest regional office, so that he maintains a unique vantage point over regional operations statewide.”

As part of the events marking the opening of the new Western New York Headquarters, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and his senior staff are conducting meetings throughout the day with key environmental and local law enforcement leaders to discuss issues affecting Western New York. The leadership team of the Attorney General’s office attending the meetings includes:

· Environmental Justice Meeting:Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Chief of Staff Steven Cohen, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Mylan Denerstein, Special Deputy Attorney General for Environmental Protection Katherine Kennedy, Policy Analyst Peter Washburn, Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs David Sampson, and Assistant Attorney General In-Charge of the Buffalo Regional Office Russell Ippolito.
· Regional Law Enforcement Meeting: Attorney General Cuomo, Chief of Staff Steven Cohen, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Robin Baker, Special Deputy Attorney General for Guns and Gangs Carl Boykin, Chief Investigator Joseph D’Amico, Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs David Sampson, and Assistant Attorney General In-Charge of the Buffalo Regional Office Russell Ippolito.

The Attorney General and representatives from the office appear in the community regularly to inform New Yorkers about their rights and how the office can assist residents. In addition, representatives are available to hear concerns from the public and mediate complaints. Representatives regularly hold presentations on Internet safety, labor issues, health care concerns, the environment, identity theft, student loans, and housing discrimination and more. Attorney General Cuomo encourages local residents interested in requesting a representative from the office to come to their community to contact the Western New York Regional Office at (716) 853-8400 or email

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “My Administration has always enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the New York State Attorney General's Office and I am very pleased today to welcome Attorney General Cuomo back to Buffalo as he ushers in a new presence in our city. His office has consistently worked to make Buffalo a better city, and with the unveiling of this new office, it is clear that he is dedicated to maintaining and strengthening a strong and a long-standing commitment to the people of Buffalo and Western New York.”

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, “Attorney General Cuomo understands that to serve the people of New York state, you must be accessible. His office’s Western New York Headquarters is the perfect launching pad to really affect change throughout our region. His office covers many different issues, and by having a strong presence in Niagara Falls and beyond, he will be able to deliver results that matter directly to the region.”

Chautauqua County Executive Gregory Edwards said, “Attorney General Cuomo has clearly shown that Western New York is a priority for his office. This office underscores that he understands the needs of our part of the state. I am proud to be a part of today's event and look forward to continuing my work with Attorney General Cuomo and his staff to better the lives of New Yorkers throughout the region.”

Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark said, “The Attorney General’s Western New York Headquarters in Buffalo is indicative of the commitment that he has made to help families from across the state find solutions to the problems they face every day. From preventing Medicaid fraud to ensuring fair housing for all residents, Attorney General Cuomo has been hard at work for the people of Western New York and I am confident that he will continue to deliver positive results for our residents.”

The Office of the Attorney General’s new Western New York Headquarters is 43,984 square feet and home to approximately 100 employees. The office is run by Assistant Attorney General In-Charge Russell Ippolito. It is located at Main Place Tower, 350 Main Street, which along with the Main Place Mall and Liberty Building, make up the Main Place Liberty Complex. The three linked buildings span two city blocks in the center of downtown Buffalo.